Travel

Travelling to the EU after Brexit: Do I Need Travel Insurance for Medical Expenses in Europe?

Are you planning a holiday in Europe after the proposed EU Membership departure date?

 

After Brexit, your EHIC card will be useless, potentially leaving tens of thousands of British holiday makers dangerously uninsured in case they need medical care while abroad.

In circumstances where the UK Government fails to reach an agreement with the EU, travellers on or after October 31st 2019 may find they have lost free access to healthcare on the continent.

How much does travel insurance with medical cover cost?

Most travel insurance policies offer medical coverage up to between £2m and £15m worth of cover.

More than enough for a case of the flu, but consider what you’d do if you had an accident abroad? A fall, a broken hip, a spinal injury.

These accidents do happen and when the UK leaves the EU it would be you or a close family member footing the bill.

How much can uninsured medical expenses cost?

If you need an emergency hip operation in Europe, the cost could range from £1290 (Hungary) to £8739 (The Netherlands).

If you break your arm in Spain, it could result in costs of £11,000. One night of intensive care in Southern Europe usually runs from £1,100 to £1,500 per night.

If you have a stroke in Cyprus it could cost £16,480 including medical care and repatriation back to the UK.

The Greek islands are particularly expensive, developing pancreatitis somewhere in Greece might lead to costs exceeding £81,000.

The cost of single or annual travel insurance is much, much cheaper!

Single trip travel insurance that includes medical cover starts at around £18 to £400 depending on any pre-existing medical conditions.

So, if you’re in your early twenties don’t expect to pay any more than £30. If you’re in your 80’s with a history of heart problems, expect to pay in the higher cost bracket. Annual trip insurance often makes economic sense as the costs for multi-trip insurance aren’t a great deal more than single trip fees.

Using your EHIC card while the UK is still a member of the EU on holiday or on a business trip.

What happens if you fall ill during your holiday in a European country?

While Britain remains in the EU, as a European citizen, you are entitled to any urgent medical treatment that can’t wait until you get home.

In the EU, you have the same rights to health care as people living in the country you are in.

Always take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on any European trip you make. Your EHIC is proof that you are insured for healthcare in any EU country.

If you need any sort of treatment, under normal circumstances if medical care is free of charge for the locals, you shouldn’t have to pay either.

If you’re presented with a bill, or if one arrives after your travel contact nidirect.gov.uk who will instruct you on where to send the bill for reimbursement.

Your EHIC card also covers pre-existing conditions. If you hold an EHIC and are travelling with a pre-existing condition that flares up while you’re abroad, you are covered. This includes anything that might require monitoring and attention such as diabetes or routine maternity care.

EHIC with a travel insurance policy

If you use an EHIC to get medical care, some insurers won’t ask you to pay the excess on your claims. While it’s important to hold an EHIC, be warned that it’s not enough on its own. You should always have travel insurance that includes medical and repatriation cover. An air ambulance back to the UK can cost in the hundreds of thousands of pounds and this would not be covered under EHIC.

Travelling outside of the EU without proper travel insurance can be costly in the extreme. In one case treating multiple fractures and an artery tear in the USA, a British citizen was forced to take an air ambulance back to the UK.

The cost of the treatment and transport was close to £500,000.

Other insurance, like credit card accident cover and private health insurance, doesn’t cover most travel emergencies. And, without insurance, you might have to cover emergency expenses on your own – the British Consulate is unlikely to help you.

So, buy travel insurance. And what will happen when the UK leaves Europe for holidaymakers?

The UK government has advised British travellers to purchase travel insurance that protects them in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, your EHIC might not be valid anymore.

Buy travel insurance that comes with healthcare cover before you travel.”

UK Government: 2019.

900% increase in medical costs in the event of a No-Deal Brexit

While research shows that medical costs could increase by up to 900% if EHIC is no longer valid in the event of a No Deal Brexit, having the proper cover arranged with you travel insurer will protect you from any potential problems.

And, you already have travel insurance cover arranged via an annual policy, your insurer should let you know if there are changes that will affect you after the UK leaves the EU. Always call them if in any doubt, before you travel.

The summary: you should always travel with travel insurance, particularly if you’re over 55 or have any pre-existing medical conditions. For more information on choosing the right package, take a look at our guide to travel insurance here.

The Government has published guidance for those concerned about losing access to free healthcare services in EU member states. In this guidance, the Government recommends that travellers check the arrangements country by country in case there is no deal agreed with the 27 nations that are remaining in the EU.

Use our Country by Country guide to medical travel in the EU after October 31st 2019

The team at Policyclever has built a country by country guide to keep you up to date on the health provisions available in each European country after October 31st.

After Britain leaves the European Union, there will be 26 Member states to travel to.

Select your holiday destination to find out what emergency health care you would be entitled to:

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Republic of Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Sweden

Use your common sense. Take out travel insurance, whatever happens…

Research from Sainsbury’s Bank has discovered that as many as 2.3 million of us tend to travel on holiday without it.

If you fall, get injured or fall ill on holiday, having the right insurance cover could save you many thousands of pounds.

Indeed, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average claim on travel insurance is currently £1,300.

If you fall, get injured or become ill on holiday, having the right insurance cover could save you many thousands of pounds.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average claim for medical expenses on travel insurance is currently £1,300.

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What about my EHIC Card?

At present, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives citizens of the UK living in or travelling around the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) access to state-provided healthcare either free or at a reduced cost, depending on what local arrangements are in place.

Holders of EHIC are entitled to the same care as local residents in each country, including non-EU countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In certain EEA countries, patients are required to pay a ‘co-payment’ that is frequently a percentage of the cost of care. Another benefit of the current EHIC is that it also covers pre-existing medical conditions.

Don’t rely on EHIC after Brexit.

After Britain leaves the European Union, there is no legal provision set for the use of EHIC cards for British travellers. This could leave tens of thousands of British holiday makers uninsured in case they need medical care while abroad.

The UK Government wants people to recognise that the EHIC should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare costs or other services like mountain rescue, repatriation to the UK, or any property loss whether through damage, theft or loss.

The guidance is that it is best to choose for the best travel insurance policy that suits your particular circumstances by using a price comparison website.

The other states non-EEA states in Europe that do not accept the EHIC card include:

  • Andorra
  • The Channel Islands, like Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark
  • The Isle of Man
  • Monaco
  • San Marino
  • The Vatican

UK nationals who live in EEA states are encouraged to register for access to local healthcare and not to rely on the EHIC. Anyone who is currently applying for residency in any European is advised to obtain private medical insurance cover.

The Government also warns that any UK nationals living in EEA countries who have an ‘S1 certificate’ may find this is not valid if no deal is agreed by the end of October. The advice is to check what arrangements exist between the UK and the specific EU state at the time of travelling.

One piece of good news that is on the horizon for those people with a pre-existing medical condition when they seek travel insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority is set to bring in a new rule that provides people with a directory of insurers who will cover them with their existing conditions.

So, what are the rules in each European country for British travellers abroad? Here is an alphabetical breakdown with links to the UK government advice:


Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Austria

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Adults of working age who are holidaying in Austria after the UK leaves the EU will need to be able to provide proof of adequate healthcare insurance for the duration of the stay.

If you work or are travelling on business in Austria, you will have to register with the Austrian authorities and with a state health insurance provider.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Anyone with a pre-existing condition that may need treatment while abroad should ask their UK doctor for advice before travelling and ensure they take any documents about the health condition and medication.

Almost everyone working in Austria pays into the social security system and is covered by mandatory health insurance. Further information can be found at the Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions website

When you are a UK worker posted to Austria, it is likely you will have to apply for a work permit and need to buy healthcare insurance in Austria (either for private healthcare or for the state health insurance system).

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you have lived in Austria for over five years continuously, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

To receive the same healthcare entitlements as Austrian citizens you must contribute to the country’s social health insurance.

For those of you who want to retire in Austria, you must demonstrate not only that you have health insurance covering all the costs but also prove you have access to sufficient funds.

 

Austria

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Belgium

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Anyone planning to visit Belgium after Brexit should buy travel insurance so they can access any healthcare treatment, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

If you work in Belgium and pay social security contributions, you will continue to have access to healthcare similar to Belgian national residents. You must have a long-stay residence permit.

If you have legally lived in Belgium for over five continuous years you may be able to obtain a permanent residence permit.

If you are a UK worker posted to Belgium, it may be required that you buy Belgian healthcare insurance in order to receive healthcare treatment.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Anyone with a pre-existing condition that may need treatment while abroad should ask their UK doctor for advice before travelling and ensure they take any documents about the health condition and medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

People of retirement age or over who have continuously lived in Belgium for over five years may be able to apply for permanent residency.

This requires you to contribute to the social health insurance Belgian citizens do in order to receive similar healthcare. You are required by law to join a health insurance fund.

To retire in Belgium you have to prove not only that you have health insurance that covers all the necessary costs but also that you have access to sufficient funds.

 

Belgium

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Bulgaria

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

It’s important that you ensure any treatment you receive is by a healthcare provider with a contract from the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Extra vigilance is needed when any healthcare arrangements are made via a hotel or travel agent. The costs incurred for any private healthcare cannot be refunded.

Before travelling contact NHIF for advice. Call 00359 2 965 9116 from the UK. Information in English is available on the NHIF website.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy travel insurance before you visit Bulgaria. You must inform the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have, to make sure you can get the cover you need.

Ask your UK doctor for advice before travelling. Remember to carry with you any documents about your health condition or medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you have been in Bulgaria less than five years after Brexit you will need to apply for long-term residency to continue living in Bulgaria.

If you have lived continuously lived in Bulgaria for over five years you may be able to apply for permanent residency.

Permanent or long-term residents in Bulgaria have to register with the NHIF and pay health insurance. By doing this it will give you similar access to healthcare as enjoyed by Bulgarian nationals. This includes emergency healthcare.

 

 

Bulgaria

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Croatia

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Access to healthcare when visiting Croatia after the UK leaves the EU without a deal is likely to change.

You should buy travel insurance so you can receive the healthcare you may require, just as you would if you were visiting a non-EU country.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

Anyone with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance before arriving in Croatia. You have to inform the insurance company of any pre-existing conditions to ensure you get the cover you require.

If you have any pre-existing conditions that may require treatment while abroad, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and take any documents about your condition and medication with you.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you have lived continuously in Croatia for more than five years you may be able to apply for a permanent residency.

All residents in Croatia, including any foreign nationals who have been living in Croatia for over three months and who have received a temporary or permanent residence permit, have to register with the NHIF for basic health insurance.

This will give you the same access to healthcare as Croatian nationals.

Croatia

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Cyprus

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal and you plan to visit Cyprus you should buy travel insurance, just the same as if you were visiting a non-EU country.

If you are eligible for either permanent or temporary residence, you have to contribute to social insurance and either has a medical card or take out private healthcare insurance to receive the same healthcare as Cypriots.

If you have lived continuously in Cyprus for over five years you may be able to apply for a permanent residency. The charge is €30 and takes about six months to complete.

If you are unable to qualify for social insurance there are a variety of alternative private insurance schemes from which to choose. However, Cyprus is in the process of changing its health system. You can read up on the General Healthcare System (GHS) that operates in Cyprus.

Although it’s not necessary to have healthcare insurance when you live in Cyprus, expect to be charged for any services you receive.

If you are moving to Cyprus in order to work, you must apply for a residence permit through the immigration office of the Ministry of the Interior Republic of Cyprus. The form to use is the MEU1A.

When you have registered, if you are eligible, you will be able to apply for a Medical Card that applies in Cyprus. The application form is to be found on the Cypriot Ministry of Health Website.

Most Cypriot citizens and permanent residents need t pay small charges for treatment. These include €3 per visit to a general practitioner, €6 to be seen by a specialist, and €0.50 for each medication that is prescribed.

If you don’t hold a medical card, some charges will be increased: €15 to see a GP, €30 to be seen by a specialist. An additional fee of €10 will be charged for emergency treatment. More details can be found on the Cypriot Ministry of Health website.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

When you have a pre-existing health condition you should purchase travel insurance before you travel to Cyprus, while also informing the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions to ensure you can obtain the cover you require.

When your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in Cyprus, ask your UK doctor to advise before you travel and take any documents about your health condition and medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

After the UK leaves the EU you will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit. You will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself.

Permanent residency can also be applied for if you have continuously lived in Cyprus for over five years. To apply costs €30 and takes around six months to complete.

If you expect the same healthcare as Cypriots, you have to contribute to social insurance and obtain a medical card. If you don’t qualify for social insurance there are a variety of alternative private insurance schemes from which to choose.

You are not required to have healthcare insurance when you live in Cyprus, but if you don’t expect to be charged for any services you receive.

Cyprus

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Czech Republic

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If you plan to visit the Czech Republic when the UK has left the EU, you should buy travel insurance.

If you reside in the Czech Republic, you are obliged to pay for a government-approved statutory scheme for health insurance. This will give you the same access as Czech nationals to healthcare in the republic.

If you are a UK citizen posted to work in the Czech Republic, you also need to pay for a government-approved insurance scheme.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the republic, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Residents in the Czech Republic must pay for a statutory health insurance scheme. If you have lived in the republic for over five years you may be able to apply for a permanent residency and get the same healthcare as the Czechs themselves.

Czech Republic

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Denmark

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, access to healthcare for UK citizens visiting Denmark is highly likely to change.

If you plan to visit Denmark when the UK has left the EU, you should buy travel insurance as you would if you were visiting any non-EU country.

If you are a resident in Denmark, in possession of a healthcare insurance card and registered with the Civil Registration System, you are allowed full access to the state’s healthcare system, which includes non-emergency healthcare.

However, when you’re a UK-posted worker, it’s advisable to register with the Civil Registration System and get a healthcare insurance card. The alternative is to take out private healthcare insurance.

There is a variety of work permits available to be legally employed in Denmark.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in Denmark, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you reside in Denmark, have registered with the Civil Registration System and possess the healthcare insurance card, you can take advantage of all aspects of the Danish healthcare system.

If you don’t have residency status, it’s advisable to apply. UK nationals who have moved to Denmark as EU citizens may find that special circumstances apply.

It’s possible you need to both register with the Civil Registration System as well as applying for one of the state’s healthcare insurance cards. Alternatively, you can take out a private healthcare insurance policy.

 

Denmark

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Estonia

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If the UK Brexits without a deal, access to healthcare in Estonia is likely to change.

If you plan to visit you should buy travel insurance just as you would when visiting any non-EU country.

Permanent or temporary Estonian residents who registered with the EHIF may still be able to access the same health facilities as Estonian nationals themselves.

Without any residency permit, it’s likely you will need to apply for one. Temporary permits can be issued for as many as five years and extended for as many as 10 years. If you have lived in Estonia for five years already and have a temporary permit, you may be able to apply to get a long-term permit.

You should also register with the EHIF and it is recommended you take out private medical insurance until such time as you are fully covered by the state’s system.

UK-posted workers may also require to be registered with the EHIF. The alternative is to take out a private healthcare insurance policy.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in Estonia, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you reside in Estonia and are registered with the EHIF, you still may be entitled to the same facilities as Estonian nationals.

Without residency, you may need to apply. Temporary residence permits are available for up to five years. They can also be extended for as many as 10 years. If you have lived in Estonia for five years with a temporary permit, it’s possible you can apply to switch to a long-term permit.

You should also register with the EHIF and it’s recommended you take out private healthcare insurance until such time the state fully covers your healthcare.

 

Estonia

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Finland

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If you are planning to visit the country after the UK leaves the EU, you should buy travel insurance as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

Finnish residents should be issued with a Kela card, which gives access to Finland’s social security services. People who aren’t insured with Kela, and who are not otherwise privately insured you will still be seen to but will be charged in full for any treatment.

If you don’t have residence, you will probably need to apply for a permit. Permits for employed people costs each person €450 for an electronic permit or €520 for a paper one. Extensions to either type of permit cost €200 per person. Private healthcare insurance is recommended until state cover kicks in.

If permitted UK-posted workers who want to continue receiving healthcare in Finland are likely to need to buy into the state system and get a Kela card. Alternatively, the advice is to buy private healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Residents in Finland should receive a Kela card which gives access to all social security services.

Without residency, you need to apply and if you have continuously lived in Finland for four or more years and have a continuous residence permit you may get a permanent residence permit.

Even if you are not covered by Kela, and have no private insurance of your own you will still receive attention, but you will be charged for any treatment.

 

Finland

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to France, including Martinique and Guadaloupe

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Anyone planning to visit France after the UK has left the EU will need to buy travel insurance with the necessary healthcare cover for any treatment you could require.

People who have lived in France for more than three months can apply to be covered by the French PUMA healthcare system.

You will need a residence permit. The application process is free at present. Any costs after the UK Brexits have not yet been decided.

In the meantime, it is advisable to take out a private healthcare insurance policy until the state system covers you.

UK-posted workers are likely to have to buy into the state system if they are allowed. Otherwise, they may need to set up their own private healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

People who have been resident in France for three or more months can apply to be covered by the French PUMA system. The card gives access to all social security services.

To apply for residency is currently free of charge. But costs may be applied when the UK leaves the EU. French citizenship applications can be made by people who have permanently lived in France for the past five years, or four years if married to a French national.

 

 

France

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Germany

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Anyone planning to visit Germany when the UK leaves the EU should buy travel insurance to get healthcare treatment.

If the UK departs the EU with no deal and you are already in Germany as a UK-posted worker, you are entitled to join a statutory health insurance scheme within three months of the date the UK’s departure but you may be required to pay a contribution.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you are a UK pensioner who is already living in Germany, within three months of the UK’s departure you are entitled to join a statutory health insurance scheme but you may be required to pay a contribution. You will not have to take out any private healthcare insurance. To discover more, contact your Krankenkasse (in German).

 

Germany

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Greece

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Planning to visit Greece when the UK has left the EU? You should buy travel insurance to guarantee access to any healthcare treatment you may need.

Greek residents are issued with an AMKA number by the Unified Social Security Fund (EFKA). It entitles holders to the state-funded healthcare Greek citizens to receive.

To register to find a doctor who is affiliated with the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY). It may require you to make co-payments to get access to healthcare, including diagnostic and laboratory tests, as well as outpatient medicines and certain visits to the doctor. You may, however, be exempt from co-payments if you suffer from chronic conditions or are on a low income.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners in Greece are advised to take out a private health insurance policy though Greek residents are issued with an AMKA number by the Unified Social Security Fund (EFKA). It entitles holders to the state-funded healthcare Greek citizens receive.

To register find a doctor who is affiliated with the Greek National Organisation for Healthcare Services Provision (EOPYY). It may require you to make co-payments to get access to healthcare, including diagnostic and laboratory tests, as well as outpatient medicines and certain visits to the doctor. You may, however, be exempt from co-payments if you suffer from a chronic condition.

 

Greece

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Hungary

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

If you plan to visit Hungary after the UK leaves the EU, you should buy travel insurance.

When the UK leaves the EU, the Hungarian government says it will protect the rights of UK nationals who are legally resident in Hungary, on a roughly reciprocal basis. It means Hungary will offer roughly the arrangements that UK nationals currently enjoy.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who have lived in the country for over five years on a continuous basis could be able to apply for a permanent residency.

You have to register with the Országos Egészség Pénztár (OEP) to obtain a TAJ kártya national health insurance card and be issued with your TAJ számhealth insurance number.

If you are not eligible for a TAJ kártya it’s advised that you take out private healthcare insurance.

If eligible, those people who have lived in Hungary for less than five years, need to apply for a long-term visa.

 

Hungary

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Iceland

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

UK citizens are advised to take out travel insurance if you plan to visit Iceland after the UK leaves the EU.

Those of you who have resided in Iceland for more than six months and have registered with Registers Iceland may find they still have access to the national health service under the terms of the Icelandic Health Insurance Fund.

However, you may have to apply for a residence permit. The Directorate of Immigration website explains the criteria and process to make an application for any work permits.

If they are permitted, UK posted workers may find they are able to purchase their way into the state system so they can receive the same healthcare as Icelandic nationals. Alternatively, it is advisable to take out a private healthcare insurance policy.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you’ve been resident in Iceland for more than six months, it may be possible to register with Registers Iceland and get access under the Icelandic Health Insurance Fund to the national health service.

People without residency status will have to apply for a permit. To find out more visit the Directorate of Immigration website.

If you have lived in Iceland for four years or more, you may be able to get a permanent residence permit.

 

Iceland

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Ireland

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Although the authorities in the UK and Ireland are working on ways of continuing reciprocal healthcare arrangements after Brexit, people who plan to visit Ireland are advised to buy a travel insurance policy that covers the necessary health cover you may need.

Those people that move to Ireland may be eligible for a Medical Card. This is granted subject to means-testing and evidence of habitual residence. British citizens will not need any visa to travel to Ireland.

The UK posted workers are advised to take out private healthcare insurance cover.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who move to Ireland may be eligible for a Medical Card. To qualify requires satisfying the Health Service Executive (HSE) that you do live in Ireland, intend to live there for a minimum of a year, and fulfil the criteria laid down by your UK pension or social insurance.

To discover more go to the Irish Health Service Executive website. For eligible pensioners, their medical card entitles them to access selected health services for free. Be prepared to be asked for evidence of entitlement to Irish healthcare, like proof of property ownership or rental.

 

Ireland

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Italy

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting Italy after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare you may need.

UK posted workers may need to buy additional healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

British pensioners who have chosen to retire to Italy will no longer have healthcare covered by the NHS in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Those who plan on visiting Italy after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare you may need.

 

Italy

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Latvia

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

People who plan on visiting Latvia after the UK has left the EU should buy travel insurance to cover any healthcare treatment they may need.

Permanent residents in Latvia are entitled to emergency healthcare the same as Latvian nationals. But it’s likely you will still need to apply for a permanent or temporary residence permit. For more information visit the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website.

UK posted workers will need to follow the ongoing debate about domestic healthcare to see if you will be able to buy your way into the state system and continue to receive healthcare on the same terms as Latvian nationals. Alternatively, it’s advisable to take out private healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners are likely to have to apply for temporary or permanent residence permits if they want to live in Latvia. Visit the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website for more information.

Permanent residents are entitled to the same healthcare as Latvian nationals.

 

Latvia

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Lithuania

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those planning to visit Lithuania when the UK has left the EU should buy travel insurance and consult the insurer to find out about accessing non-emergency healthcare.

The UK posted workers may need to buy extra healthcare insurance. The Lithuanian healthcare system’s funding is made up of Privalomasis Sveikatos Draudimas (PSD), which are mandatory health insurance contributions made by all permanent residents and Lithuanian citizens.

People who have temporary permits can opt into PSD. The payments come to €336 annually, but these can be covered by an employer and subsidised by the government.

Those who want to live in Lithuania must obtain either a national visa – which only guarantees a stay of up to a year – or a temporary residency permit, which enables longer stays.

In order to qualify to obtain a national visa, you are required to be a student or either be visiting the country for work or have another valid reason for staying in Lithuania.

Without Lithuanian ancestry in order to qualify for a permanent residency you must:

  • live with a Lithuanian citizen family member
  • have lived continuously in the country for a minimum of five years and with a permit for temporary residency
  • have a highly qualified job and have resided continuously in the country for at least two years, again with a temporary residency permit.

Permanent residency acceptance relies on proof of proficiency in the Lithuanian language and completion of the state’s foundations exams.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who want to reside in Lithuania must obtain the Lithuanian national visa or temporary residence permit as explained above.

 

 

Lithuania

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Luxembourg

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

When you plan to visit Luxembourg after Brexit you should buy travel insurance.

UK posted workers may need to buy extra insurance. The Luxembourg government has published information only available in French on the approach they are planning to take with regards to UK nationals in Luxembourg after the UK’s departure.

People are only able to apply for jobs in Luxembourg if the employer has failed to recruit any Luxembourg nationals within three weeks of adverting the job, and even then only if they receive an exemption certificate from the director of the Agence pour le développement de l’emploi (ADEM) or National Employment Agency.

Job applicants have to also apply for a temporary authorisation to stay in Luxembourg. Self-employed workers to successfully apply for temporary authorisation to stay must prove they have:

• the necessary qualifications for the job

• registered on relevant professional lists

• sufficient funds to fulfil the activity.

Proof that the job is in Luxembourg’s social, cultural and economic interests is also required.

To successfully apply for residency in Luxembourg requires applicants to register with the Bureau de la population census office within three days of arrival.

To remain in Luxembourg for over three months before you enter the country you must apply to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs for autorisation de séjour (authorisation to stay).

You may be required to apply for a titre de séjour residence permit and undergo a medical examination by a Luxembourg doctor.

When you have five years of continuous residency in Luxembourg, you can apply for long-term resident status. However, you will still have to meet the conditions of having:

• stable and sufficient resources

• suitable housing

• a health insurance certificate that covers you and your family.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners must meet the conditions for residing in Luxembourg listed above in order to be eligible to use the state healthcare system.

Pensioners must also have an EU or EEA or Swiss national relative who is living in Luxembourg to retire in the country.

If you apply to retire in Luxembourg without fulfilling the conditions for family reunification residency will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Whatever, you will have to prove you have health insurance covering all the costs and sufficient finances.

 

Luxembourg

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Malta

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

When you plan to visit Malta after Brexit you should buy travel insurance.

UK posted workers may require extra healthcare insurance and must have a permit to work in the country.

Obtaining one of these is dependent on the Maltese job market but once granted, you will also have the right to live in Malta.

Employment and residence permits can also be applied for when the intention is to open a new business in Malta subject to certain criteria, which include a minimum €100,000 investment.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

As third-country nationals living in Malta after Brexit UK pensioners who have resided in the country for over six months a year are able to apply for ordinary residence. Approval is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the Maltese authorities.

Long-term residence can be applied for when people have been legally living in Malta for five or more continuous years. Successful applicants cannot have left the island for over six consecutive months in any given year, and cannot have been away for over 10 months throughout this five-year period. The requirements for long-term residence permits are to be found on the government’s integration website.

 

 

Malta

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to The Netherlands

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

When you plan to visit the Netherlands after Brexit you should buy travel insurance.

If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit once you have arrived. To be successful you must demonstrate sufficient resources are in place, for example with a relevant employment contract.

When you live in the Netherlands, you have to contribute to the health insurance scheme. It is a legal requirement for residents to have basic statutory insurance, and this must be taken out within four months of arrival. The health insurer must grant permission for planned treatments. UK posted workers may require additional healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If no deal is in place on 31 October 2019, the Dutch government has said that UK nationals who have a right of residence are allowed to stay.

Under a transition scheme, UK nationals will retain their rights to work, live and study. People who are registered in the Personal Records Database of their municipality should have by now received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND). It acts as a temporary residence permit. When the transition period ends in July next year a new national residence permit will be required.

UK nationals who want to move to the Netherlands after Brexit will be able to apply for a third-country nationals residence permit. To obtain the latest information visit the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) website.

 

The Netherlands

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Norway

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

When you plan to visit Norway after Brexit you should buy travel insurance.

Those people who have lived in Norway for over a year are required to contribute to the FolketrygdenNational Insurance Scheme to get the same access to healthcare as Norwegian nationals.

Norwegians generally get supplementary insurance for healthcare expenses not covered by the basic scheme. UK posted workers may need to buy extra healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

In Norway, residence permits are granted for family reunification, work, study, or under the au pair scheme. To find more information visit the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.

Applications for permanent right of residence is possible after three years of living in Norway. Consult the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website for the latest information.

 

Norway

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Poland

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

Polish residents who and are registered with the National Health Fund (NFZ) and are up to date with paying their contributions are as entitled to healthcare as Polish nationals. Immediate family members will also be able to access the state health system.

Anyone who does not contribute to the NFZ must have their own private healthcare insurance. UK posted workers may need extra healthcare insurance

To gain residency requires proof you have state or private healthcare insurance. When the residency process is completed, you will be issued with a PESEL individual identification number, which is required to register for any health clinic.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who are Polish residents, registered with and paying contributions to the National Health Fund (NFZ) will be as entitled to healthcare as Polish nationals.

Healthcare access in Poland is reliant on insurance and everyone must be employed and contributing to the national insurance scheme. This enables people to register household dependants for state healthcare.

The official advice is that when individuals are unable to contribute to the state system or have opted out, they have to take out private insurance and pay for the use of state health services.

Unemployed individuals can retain access to state healthcare when they are able to demonstrate that in the previous 18 months they have been employed for 365 days.

 

Poland

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Portugal, including Madeira

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

People who are legally resident in Portugal are able to register with a local state-run Centro de saúde health centre and get a cartão de utente – healthcare user’s number, that can be shown whenever healthcare is needed. UK posted workers may buy extra healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who are registered residents in Portugal will be able to continue to access the Portuguese health system.

 

Portugal

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Romania

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

People who want to stay in Romania will have to apply for either a short-stay or long-stay visa.

Short-stay visas allow entry and a stay in Romania for not longer than 90 days within a maximum six months from the date of entering the country.

Visa applications are done on the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, where you will discover more about eligibility and the process.

To be entitled to a long-term residence permit you must have been continuously resident in the previous five-year period. Long-term residence permits are valid for five years.

Those people who pay health insurance contributions will be able to continue accessing free or discounted healthcare services. UK posted workers mat require extra healthcare insurance.

Romanian medical care is managed by the National Health Insurance House (NHIH) and residents have to contribute to the NHIH to access the same facilities as Romanian nationals. Contributions will be automatically deducted from salaries.

To receive free medical insurance in Romania is possible when  people who are:

• aged up to 18 years old

• students up to the age of 26 and unemployed

• retired

• in receipt of unemployment benefits or social assistance

People with private insurance will be issued with receipts with which to claim reimbursement.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who want to stay in Romania will have to apply for either a short-stay or long-stay visa.

Short-stay visas allow entry and a stay in Romania for not longer than 90 days within a maximum six months from the date of entering the country.

Long-stay visas enable stays in Romania for 90 days but can be extended by the Romanian Ministry of Administration and Interior 30 days prior to the original visa expiring.

Visa applications are done on the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, where you will discover more about eligibility and the process.

 

Romania

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Slovakia

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

Permanent residents, who work or are self-employed in the country must make contributions to the mandatory health insurance scheme unless they have been granted an exemption and the state pays on their behalf.

If you do not contribute you must arrange private healthcare insurance cover.

There are some services to which people must contribute. The law sets out which services require co-payments. They include:

• Pharmaceuticals

• Medical devices

• Dietary food

• Prescriptions

• Spas and rehabilitation services

• 24/7 first aid medical service

• Transport health service

Slovakian residents have their planned treatments covered through the statutory health insurance system or via private healthcare insurance.

Patients have to visit a general practitioner, who will transfer you to a relevant specialist in an outpatient department. Gynaecological and psychiatric patients don’t require referrals.

UK posted workers may need extra healthcare insurance cover in Slovakia.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who stay in Slovakia for over three months must register with their local foreign police department.

To live in Slovakia for more than 30 days requires an application for either a five-year permanent residence permit, a temporary residence permit, or a long-term visa.

Third-country nationals can take a variety of routes to achieve permanent residence status in Slovakia.

Third-country nationals who are married to Slovak citizens are able to apply for permanent residence initially for five years. This can then be extended for an unlimited time period after four years have passed.

Long term residence is open to people who:

have lived in Slovakia continuously for five years, only being outside the country in that period for no more than six consecutive months 

• are Blue Card holders for a minimum of five years, and have been resident in Slovakia as Blue Card holders for a minimum of two years prior to the application being submitted

Applying for permanent residence costs €165.

Temporary residence permit applications depend on the reason for the application and the costs range from €165 to €250. Decisions on permanent residence can take as many as 90 days.

If you apply for either a temporary residence permit or a five-year permanent residency permit you have to obtain your health insurance within three working days from receiving the permit.

The health insurance policy has to be submitted to inside 30 days from collecting the residence permit. This doesn’t apply if your temporary residence is for employment, study, the performance of professional duties by civilian members of the armed forces or if you have status as a Slovak living abroad.

Information on documentation, making an application and the costs involved can be found on the Migration Information Center of the International Organization for Migration website.

 

Slovakia

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Slovenia

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed. Healthcare entitlements vary with particular insurance packages.

If you want to live in Slovenia, you have to obtain a “first temporary residence permit” before you enter the country.

Applications must then be made subsequently for additional temporary residence permits. There are various exemptions, application criteria and pathways.

If you pay national insurance contributions to Slovenia, you will be able to continue accessing free or discounted healthcare after Brexit. UK posted workers may need to buy extra healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Slovenian citizenship may be acquired through one’s parents, provided the parent is a Slovenian citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth. It may also come through naturalisation and continuous residence in the country, as long as the applicant meets the conditions laid down by law.

 

Slovenia

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Spain including the Balearic and Canary Islands

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

If you pay social security contributions to Spain your access to state-funded healthcare will remain as it has been. UK posted workers may need to buy extra healthcare insurance.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

Pensioners who have lived in Spain for over five years on a continuous basis may be able to apply for permanent residency, which would enable them to continue accessing state-funded healthcare the same as Spanish nationals.

Those who have lived in Spain for less than five years but have registered with the local town hall for at least one year, there is a Convenio Especial pay-in health insurance scheme that is offered by the Spanish government. It enables people who are unemployed to effectively buy their way into the Spanish healthcare system.

For a monthly payment of €157 for those aged 65 or more the scheme covers all pre-existing medical conditions, although it doesn’t cover prescriptions.

Unfortunately, in the region of Andalusia, you are no longer able to apply for the Convenio Especial. For access to healthcare in Andalusia, you have to ask your local healthcare centre if you can register under the new Universal Healthcare Law.

Anyone registered with their town hall for less than a year will require private health insurance to access Spanish healthcare.

 

Spain

Healthcare Cover for Visitors to Sweden

Adults of working age either on holiday or travelling on business

Those who plan on visiting the country after the UK has left the EU should take out a travel insurance policy and make sure it covers the healthcare that may be needed.

If you are a resident with a permit and pay social security contributions in Sweden, you will be able to continue accessing free healthcare after Brexit. You will probably have to apply for residency. UK posted workers may need extra healthcare insurance  cover

If you have lived five continuous years in Sweden long-term resident status is available.

People of any age travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

People with pre-existing health conditions should buy medical travel insurance and inform the insurance company about pre-existing conditions.

If it’s likely your pre-existing condition will need treatment while in the country, get advice from your UK doctor before you travel and make sure you take relevant documents about the condition and associated medication.

Pensioners/people in retirement aged 65 and over

If you are a pensioner living in Sweden and want to continue to be entitled to the same health care as a Swedish national you probably have to apply for a residency permit and become registered as a resident of Sweden.

Sweden


Your POLICYCLEVER EXPERT

Roger Wilsher

Roger Wilsher is an experienced writer and editor. He has written about travel and insurance for many of leading newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Independent, the Daily Mail, City to Cities for London City Airport and Co-Op Travel.

He loves to walk long distances with his two dogs, Denzel and Mumpy, and his favourite journeys include following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson on his Travels with A Donkey in the Cevennes and Offa’s Dyke from Chepstow to Prestatyn.


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